Information

Firearm crimes statistics in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.


Information requested

The disposals that were handed out in the Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland, 2018-19 and 2019-20, broken down by category (used to threaten, fired – no injury/damage, fired – damage to property, fired – fatal/non-fatal injury, other use, used as blunt instrument) and disposal (custodial, community, financial, other).

Response

While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information as requested.

Whilst the Scottish Government do publish data on both Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms and Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, these are based on distinct and unlinked data sets. Consequently we cannot identify[1] an accused person in the former as a disposal in the latter. Detailed information on why these two data sources are not directly comparable can be found in Annex C, paragraph 14 of the Criminal Proceedings in Scotland: 2020-21 bulletin. Furthermore, the methods by which the subset of crimes and offences involving firearms can be identified in the two data sets differ. For Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms the data collection process is outlined in the Further Information section of the bulletin. For the Criminal Proceedings data firearms offences are identified through the presence of specific “markers” (including: handguns, shotguns, airguns, stun
guns, air rifles, rifles and imitation firearms). Finally, the Criminal Proceedings data does not include a “how used” category. Thus the data we are able to provide on disposals for crime and offences involving a firearm are not directly comparable to those published in Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms, Scotland 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The data provided below come from Criminal Proceedings in Scotland: 2020-21. The data presented here span the three recording years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. These will include a subset of individuals accused of crimes and offences involving firearms that occurred in 2018-19 and 2019-20, alongside those from both older and more recent incidents. They will not include any individual accused of these offences where no action was taken or the individual was given an out of court disposal and those which did not have the relevant marker. Note that data from the 2020-21 recording year are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent court closures. The table below also excludes disposals for Firearms, miscellaneous offences and Air weapons licensing offences, replicating the approach in Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms. Crimes are presented using the same
grouping structure as Recorded Crimes and Offences (described in Note 3.8).

Table - People convicted of crimes or offences where a firearm modifier was recorded against the main charge, by crime and disposal, 2018-19 to 2020-21

Crime

Year

Custody

Community

sentence

Monetary

Other

Total

Homicide

2018-

19

1

0

0

0

1

2019-

20

0

0

0

0

0

2020-

21

0

0

0

0

0

Attempted murder

2018-

19

2

0

0

0

2

2019-

20

1

0

0

0

1

2020-

21

1

0

0

0

1

Serious assault

2018-

19

2

0

0

0

2

2019-

20

2

0

0

0

2

2020-

21

2

0

0

0

2

Robbery

2018-

19

15

0

0

0

15

2019-

20

8

0

0

0

8

2020-

21

10

1

0

0

11

Vandalism

2018-

19

0

0

0

0

0

 

2019-

20

0

0

0

0

0

 

2020-

21

1

0

0

0

1

Reckless conduct with firearms

2018-

19

0

1

1

0

2

 

2019-

20

1

0

0

0

1

 

2020-

21

0

0

0

0

0

Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, commit crime etc.

2018-

19

8

1

0

1

10

 

2019-

20

7

3

0

0

10

 

2020-

21

4

2

0

0

6

Common assault

2018-

19

4

5

1

0

10

 

2019-

20

2

2

0

0

4

 

2020-

21

0

0

0

0

0

Breach of the peace etc.

2018-

19

0

6

1

2

9

 

2019-

20

3

5

1

1

10

 

2020-

21

1

4

2

1

8

Other crimes and offences

2018-

19

3

3

0

0

6

 

2019-

20

0

2

0

0

2

 

2020-

21

3

1

2

0

6

Totals

2018-

19

35

16

3

3

57

 

2019-

20

24

12

1

1

38

 

2020-

21

22

8

4

1

35

[1] For the Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms data returns provided to Police Scotland, and in line with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR), we do not collect information that identifies individuals (such as their full name, home address or date of birth).
Specifically, the UKGDPR states that, “Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.” In this case, that means only the
age and sex of individuals at the time of the incident are collected as this is all that is required for the purpose of the age and sex disaggregations presented in the bulletin.

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Contact

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Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
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